CHICAGO, SEPTEMBER 26, 2017 -- Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Northwestern University (NU) signed a research memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Tel Aviv to collaborate on water research. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel participated in the signing, held this month.
The MOU was signed by BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi; Prof. Dan Blumberg, BGU's vice president and dean for research and development; Prof. Aaron Packman of NU's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and director of the Center for Water Research; and Prof. Fruma Yehiely, NU associate vice president for research.
The agreement is a follow up to successful collaborations between the University of Chicago (UC) and BGU. Mayor Emanuel was also present during the signing of that agreement in 2013 at the Israeli president's residence.
Speaking at Israel's largest international water conference and exhibition, WATEC 2017, Mayor Emanuel said, "Four years ago, Ben-Gurion University and the University of Chicago started a joint project. We already have one commercial product out of that and numerous papers have been published."
An interdisciplinary team from BGU's world-renowned Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research and the Northwestern Center for Water Research will include hydrologists, soil scientists, geologists, chemists, microbiologists, and engineers. The result will be a groundbreaking scientific partnership to investigate environmental challenges and develop solutions for water-related problems through new research projects, as well as student and faculty collaborations.
"BGU is a longtime leader in water research," said Prof. Blumberg, "We are pleased to be joining forces with Northwestern University following the success of the University of Chicago-BGU collaboration."
Prof. Packman said, "This partnership substantially increases opportunities for Northwestern faculty and students to collaborate with peers in Israel, and allows us to contribute to solutions [for water scarcity challenges] faced by the Middle East and other arid regions. This is an important step toward the vision of broader collaboration on water with Israel that was developed jointly by the Water Center and the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies at Northwestern."
NU's Center for Water Research was created in March 2016 to link its water research efforts in basic sciences, technology development, law and policy, and systems analysis and simulation to addressing challenges in water systems' sustainability and efficiency. BGU's Zuckerberg Institute was founded in 2002.
Two projects between NU and BGU are already underway. A number of successful joint research projects have emerged from the UC-BGU ongoing collaboration that began four years ago.
About BGU's Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research
The Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, Israel's largest and leading water institute,conducts interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research and graduate education in water sciences, aimed at improving human well-being through technologies and policies for sustainable use of water resources. For more information, visit www.aabgu.org/water.